COVID-19

Dave Lacknauth, director of Pharmacy Services, Broward Health Medical Center, shows a bottle of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during a press conference on Dec. 23, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Moderna plan to hike COVID vaccine price to $130 a dose rebuked at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - March 22, 2023

WASHINGTON — The CEO of Moderna on Wednesday defended the company’s decision to drastically increase the price of its COVID-19 vaccine later this year, arguing that an expected drop in demand, changes to its distribution process and the overall benefit of the vaccine warrant the higher cost.  That decision was met with bipartisan condemnation from […]

Atlantic Council Senior Fellow Dr. Jamie Metzl, left, testifies before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic with former New York Times editor and author Nicholas Wade, Dr. Paul Auwaerter of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Dr. Robert Redfield, former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under former President Donald Trump, in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 8, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Congress unanimously votes to require declassified information on COVID-19 origins

BY: - March 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The divided 118th Congress approved its first bill Friday, after lawmakers in both the House and Senate voted unanimously to send President Joe Biden legislation that would require declassification of intelligence on the origins of COVID-19. The four-page bill, which the House voted 419-0 to clear, would require the Director of National Intelligence […]

Dr. Paul Auwaerter testifies to the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. (Screenshot/subcommittee hearing video)

Lawmakers hear theories on COVID-19 origins in U.S. House hearing

BY: - March 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans mostly agreed Wednesday that scientists and the intelligence community should fully investigate the origins of COVID-19 without political interference over whether the virus emerged from nature or through a lab leak. Members from both political parties said throughout the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic hearing that determining […]

Filling Medical Form, document, stethoscope (Getty images

As COVID protections end, patients classified as ‘medically needy’ fear new barriers to care

BY: - March 8, 2023

Courtney Blake and her 10-year-old daughter live on their own in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Both of them struggle with chronic mental health issues and have been using Medicaid to help pay for their behavioral health care needs. But like millions of people across the country, Blake is worried that at the end of this health emergency […]

Filling Medical Form, document, stethoscope (Getty images

Rural hospitals gird for unwinding of pandemic Medicaid coverage

BY: - February 20, 2023

Donald Lloyd, CEO and president of St. Claire HealthCare in Morehead, Kentucky, has spent more than a year dealing with higher costs for food and medical supplies for his regional hospital. Now he’s trying to prepare for another financial hit — the loss of Medicaid reimbursements for treating people in rural Appalachia. “We are all […]

Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller and her husband, Mike Mueller, stand outside the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Pierre during a vote to censure her on Feb. 1, 2023. (Joshua Haiar/SD Searchlight)

Attempt to block COVID vaccines from required school immunizations fails in committee

BY: - February 15, 2023

A bill aimed at preventing COVID-19 vaccines from becoming mandatory for children attending public schools in South Dakota failed to pass the state’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday.  Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City – who was recently censured by the state Senate after she allegedly made harassing comments about vaccinating children to […]

The state Capitol in Pierre. (Getty Images)

Committee approves vaccine exemption bill amid misinformation, offensive language

BY: - February 14, 2023

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story includes offensive language, which has been included to accurately portray the content of a public legislative hearing. A South Dakota legislative committee approved a bill Tuesday that would establish a “conscience” exemption from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, after the committee hearing at the Capitol in Pierre disintegrated into a parade of misinformation […]

Cutline: Many states allocated their first rounds of federal COVID relief funds to replace revenue lost and keep essential services running, but others used the money for programs that were not aimed at alleviating the effects of the pandemic. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

States criticized for spending federal relief funds on tax cuts, prisons

BY: - February 1, 2023

As states plan how they’ll spend the $25 billion remaining in federal COVID relief funds, some also are facing criticism and renewed scrutiny over how they allocated money already received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Of the $198 billion authorized by Congress in 2021, $173 billion already has been appropriated by states, the District […]

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Rep. James Comer, R-Kentucky, speaks to reporters on his way to a closed-door GOP caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 10, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. House panel probes extent of fraud in federal COVID-19 relief programs

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — From 2020 to 2022, a group of Minnesotans pretended to be serving meals to low-income children, all the while filing for reimbursement under a federal COVID-19 relief program aimed to buoy child nutrition as schools and childcare centers closed.  In all, the schemers defrauded the government of $250 million, the Minnesota Reformer reported. […]

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to mayors from across the country during an event at the East Room of the White House on Jan. 20, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. mayors at the White House hear praise from Biden on rebuilding post-pandemic

BY: - January 20, 2023

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden hosted more than 200 of the nation’s mayors at the White House on Friday afternoon, highlighting economic growth and the effectiveness of their bipartisan leadership as the country moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic.  “I want to thank the mayors across the country for doing everything they can do to […]

An employee of the Rapid City Public Library hands out free COVID-19 tests. (Courtesy of Rapid City Public Library)

1 million free COVID tests, one year later: Some used, some not, some nearly thrown out

BY: - January 4, 2023

Mellette County Emergency Manager Karen O’Brien has hundreds of unused, free COVID-19 tests sitting in a box in her office. With COVID-19 still circulating across South Dakota and the country, she’d gladly hand them out to any residents of the rural, south-central South Dakota county who want them. But they expired in November, according to […]

The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

U.S. Supreme Court temporarily keeps Title 42 immigration program in effect

BY: - December 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court is keeping Title 42 in place until the justices can review whether the pandemic-era program should be lifted or continue. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in an order on Monday stayed a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed the program, which was put in place by the […]